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different route he comes to it. There is now no personal appeal to the multitude in verification of the miracles; no resort to Moses or other Old Testament authority; no reference to the Messiah. But, on the other hand, we have some of the greatest ideas of universal religion: the fact of worship, the spirituality of God, His superiority to all creatures, the Divine Fatherhood, and the call to repentance, culminating in an appeal to the Judgment and the Resurrection. Nothing could more plainly mark the Gentile character of the audience; nothing more strikingly show the preacher's mastery of his calling. For our purpose, therefore, the Athenian sermon is the counterpart of that preached in Jerusalem.
Peter on Pentecost and Paul at Areopagus stand as the two most typical examples of Jewish and Gentile sermons. Perhaps it is needless to add that the first class is much the more numerous of the two.
The Acts contain yet a third class of sermons—sermons that are neither distinctively Jewish nor distinctively Gentile. These were preached to persons more or less conversant with Jewish history and the Jewish religion, but not fully instructed.
There is an anticipation of the later Gentile sermon in the masterly discourse that Stephen preached before the Sanhedrim in Jerusalem, which led immediately to his death. This discourse is remarkable for the large use made of Jewish history, for the free spirit in which this history is handled, and for the consciousness that it breathes that the nation has come short of the glory of God, and that God far transcends the bounds within which the Jews strove to confine Him. After stating that Solomon built the temple in the room of the tabernacle, as though answering directly the charge that he had spoken
against that Holy Place and the Law, the preacher exclaims: "Howbeit, the Most High dwelleth not in houses made with hands; as saith the prophet,
'The heaven is my throne,
And the earth the footstool of my feet;
What manner of house will ye build me? saith the Lord;
Did not my hand make all these things?'"
In grandeur, this is second only to Paul's burst of eloquence at Areopagus.
The character of the preaching at Samaria we do not very clearly know. We are merely told that Philip "proclaimed unto them the Christ," and that Peter and John "testified and spoke the word of the Lord." But in view of the fact that the Samaritans were mongrel Jews. that they had the Pentateuch in their own language, and that their temple on Mt. Gerizim was but a mimicry of Mt. Zion, we cannot doubt that the preaching was strongly Jewish in thought, tone, and language.
According to Eusebius, the Ethiopian eunuch was the first fruits of the Gentiles, and with this view, although his classification is disputed, the facts of history are in general accord. He was, however, a proselyte of the gate, as is shown by his having been to Jerusalem to worship, and by his reading the Scriptures as he now rides in his chariot on the road leading to Gaza. He is brooding over a passage in Isaiah.
He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before his shearer is dumb,
So he opened not his mouth:
In his humiliation his judgment was taken away;
His generation who shall declare?
For his life is taken from the earth."
With such a text, Philip could do nothing but preach unto him Jesus.
All that we certainly know of the religious character of Cornelius, the Roman centurion, is that he was a "devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, who gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway." It is clear that he had some knowledge of the Jewish religion and its signification, but how much we cannot just say. His attitude was neither distinctly Jewish nor distinctly Gentile. This is plainly shown by the sermon that Peter preached to him, his kinsmen and near friends. The preacher begins with the declaration: "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to Him," and closes with the words: "To Him bear all the prophets witness, that through His name every one that believeth on Him shall receive remission of sins." Within these limits lie a summary of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, supported by the testimony of Peter and the other Apostles, and a declaration of the commission to preach and to testify to the people.
Our studies of New Testament sermons might be greatly extended, and be made much more minute and careful. These, however, suffice to teach us some important lessons. They show that preaching can be successful only in a relative sense; that there is, and can be, no universal best sermon or best mode of preaching, but that much, very much, depends upon the mental condition of the hearer. They renew our minds in the substance of the gospel; they illustrate its primitive simplicity, whether preached from a Jewish or a Gentile pulpit. Above all, they show that its substance, as preached by the Apostles, consisted, not of a body of divinity, a theological system, or a scholastic creed, but of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, and of salvation through Him.
THE PHYSICIAN AS A CHRISTIAN.
PROF. CHAS. B. NANCREDE.
Delivered June 11, 1893.
"Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."-Matt. 18:3. I have selected this pregnant passage as the starting point for my discourse, because it seemed to me to be one peculiarly fitted for the purpose of illustrating not only the physician as a Christian, but why and how a physician should be a Christian. It is frequently asked, sometimes honestly, sometimes scornfully, whether in our day a physician can be a Christian, because the apparent revelations of science seem to be at variance with that which it is believed the Scriptures state. Let me define my position by the statement--and a most positive one-that I believe the Scriptures are absolutely true, that science is also true; true because all truth is God's truth, and, therefore, truth as revealed in the Bible and in nature cannot by any possibility conflict. When they apparently do so I am quite satisfied to rest my belief on the impossibility of any portion of truth really in essence differing from other portions, and prefer to think that I am mistaken in my comprehension of the facts. Mark you, I do not worry myself to reconcile them, for I do not believe they need this, nor do I commit the fatal error of trying to wrest the Scriptures so as to agree with every varying phase of scientific thought. This is because I am satisfied with the incontrovertible fact that all
truth is one, that no real difference, as I have already said, can exist, the only error being in my fallible comprehension. Again I act thus, because what has been confidently affirmed at one time in science to be the whole and final truth, has thousands of times been shown to be only a single spark of the light, which by the distorting action of improperly associated facts has conveyed, perhaps, an utterly wrong impression, no more representing the truth, than a shattered mirror can reflect the true proportions or outlines of an object placed before it.
Shall I, then, trim my Bible here, shall I impose a meaning upon it there, until at last I have, as it is improperly said, " adjusted science and revelation," only to find that science soon tells me that she is wrong, that instead of the full, clear light of perfect truth, I have been blinding my judgment and rendering patent my own hidden skepticism in God's revealed truth for less than nothing; have reconciled nothing -for there was naught to reconcile-at the expense of shaken trust? No, let me confidently stand firm upon the foundation fact, that all truth is God's, of which at best I can only see a part at a time, and that nothing is requisite but trust in him, who the Truth itself, cannot lie in either nature or revelation; that in his own good time here, or on the other side of the river of death, all will be clear, for "now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then I shall know even as also I am known.' Who is it that brings revelation into disrepute ? Is it not the so-called believer who is so afraid that the Scriptures are not true, that he must defend them against scientific attack; who never waits before laying his lance in rest, to ascertain whether the science be true or